Website update


Our website is being updated and reorganised at present.  You may notice that it is not easy to navigate at times.


We may not be able to do our promised Summer activities but we can do things behind the scenes.



Monthly talk February 2020

Suzanne Jones was our speaker on the subject of Victorian Gardens.

She explored the effect of the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire on the gardens and gardeners of Devon in the 19th century, and their lasting legacy.

That explains why our parks and gardens look the way they do today.

Monthly talk January 2020

We started this year with a concert. Mike Holgate is always a popular visitor to St Anne’s Hall. He has extensively researched the story of John “Babbacombe” Lee, and has written a book on the subject.

He told the story in song, many of them the ballads of the day. You may have thought that you knew the story of John Lee, but Mike did have some surprises.

Much more of the story had been discovered.

Monthly talk November 2019

We had something quite different for our November talk. Dr Sue Andrew, an art and architectural historian, took us on a journey from the roof bosses of our Devon churches to the Gobi desert, in search of the Three Hares.

What an intriguing, lavishly illustrated and geographically wide-ranging talk, based on considerable research.  Sue has delivered this talk as far afield as Kuwait and a crowded St Anne’s Hall only had to travel a short distance from home.

Monthly talk October 2019

Water wings and souwesters were a must outside and inside St Anne’s hall. The rain and wind did not deter the hardly Babbacombe and St Marychurch folk for this evening’s talk.

Herald Express columnist Nick Pannell told us about some of our local shipwrecks, from the wreck of HMS Savage on Roundham Head in 1762 to the Santa Anna, the Panamanian-registered tanker, that ran aground on Thatcher Rock in 1998.

Thank you Nick.

The AGM and our monthly talk

Our AGM, as always, we aimed to complete the business 15 minutes.

We moved on very quickly to a talk by Colin Roulstone “A Mystery Revealed”.

Colin Roulstone is a life member of our Society, and is a well-respected local historian. However, we can’t say too much about his talk, after all ……. it was a mystery !

What was the mystery? You should have been there to hear the answer.

Guided walks.

Our guided walks around Babbacombe and St Marychurch are every Tuesday at 10.30am.  See our calendar or facebook for more details.

Meet at the bus stop near the Cliff Railway cafe there is a blue sign on the wall.

Monthly talk April 2019

For our final talk before the summer break, David Hinchliffe, one of our own members, told us all about the Torquay Historical Pageant of 1924.

Starting with the first of the modern historical pageants at Sherborne in Dorset in 1905, we heard how “pageantitis” gripped the nation, with one million people attending the Pageant of London in 1911. Torquay had to wait until 1924 to hold its own pageant, which took place at Rock End. Over 2,000 local people took part and over 25,000 spectators saw our our local history acted out, from Stone Age feuds through to the Spanish Armada and Princess Victoria’s visit to Torquay in 1833.

David concluded his talk by reminding us of the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, which he described as the latest interpretation of a historical pageant.

That is it for our talk season, we will regroup in September but in the meanwhile the guided walks start on July the 2nd.

Monthly talk March 2019

“Belgian Refugees in Devon during the Great War” by Ciaran Stoker.

In 1914 no less than 250,000 refugees fled to Britain after their country was invaded.

Devon played its part in accommodating this wave of humanity, and Ciaran told us how this was achieved, along with some of the individual stories of those times.

An exceptional, very well presented and researched talk.